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Playoff Extra: Wild Card Weekend Rankings

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We've already given you a strategy to help set your lineup for the Playoff Challenge. Now here are some playoff rankings with a look at who to start and sit for the Wild Card round, featuring Indianapolis at Baltimore, Cincinnati at Houston, Seattle at Washington and Minnesota at Green Bay.

The rankings are for the entire postseason, and we will update them each week throughout the playoffs.

Editor's note: The units listed after each player's name is the value assigned to each player in the CBSSports.com Playoff Challenge.

Quarterbacks

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1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers -- 82 units
2. Peyton Manning, Broncos -- 80 units
3. Tom Brady, Patriots -- 81 units
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons -- 74 units
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks -- 66 units
6. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
7. Joe Flacco, Ravens -- 61 units
8. Robert Griffin III, Redskins -- 71 units
9. Matt Schaub, Texans -- 64 units
10. Andy Dalton, Bengals -- 44 units
11. Andrew Luck, Colts -- 63 units
12. Christian Ponder, Vikings -- 38 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Rodgers, Wilson, Flacco
Sits: Griffin, Schaub, Dalton, Luck, Ponder
Rodgers is clearly the best quarterback this week. He is getting hot at the right time with 11 total touchdowns in his past three games with no interceptions and an average of 333 passing yards over that span. In Week 17 at Minnesota he had 365 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. ... Wilson was a Top 12 Fantasy passer in eight of his final nine games and scored at least 23 Fantasy points in three road games at Miami, Chicago and Buffalo. ... Flacco had at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his final four home games. ... Griffin is facing a Seahawks defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points since Week 8, and Griffin has just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 7. ... Schaub has three games in his past four without a touchdown pass and has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points since Week 11. ... Since Mohammed Sanu (foot) got hurt in Week 12, Dalton hasn't had more than 16 Fantasy points. He's missing a third receiving option after A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, and it shows. ... Like Griffin, Luck has struggled to close the season with just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 9. He's also facing a Ravens defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 10, including matchups with both Manning brothers. ... Ponder just had 28 Fantasy points against the Packers in Week 17, but he had eight points at Green Bay in Week 13 and can't be trusted.

Running Backs

1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos -- 60 units
2. Stevan Ridley, Patriots -- 63 units
3. Arian Foster, Texans -- 68 units
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks -- 67 units
5. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
6. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- 69 units
8. Alfred Morris, Redskins -- 57 units
9. DuJuan Harris, Packers -- 7 units
10. Michael Turner, Falcons -- 54 units
11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals -- 53 units
12. Danny Woodhead, Patriots -- 35 units
13. Vick Ballard, Colts -- 42 units
14. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons -- 41 units
15. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
16. Ben Tate, Texans -- 23 units
17. Ryan Grant, Packers -- 19 units
18. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
19. Willis McGahee, Broncos -- 38 units
20. Alex Green, Packers -- 33 units
21. Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
22. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos -- 16 units
23. Jason Snelling, Falcons -- 10 units
24. James Starks, Packers -- 32 units
25. Brian Leonard, Bengals -- 2 units
26. Cedric Peerman, Bengals -- 16 units
27. Brandon Bolden, Patriots -- 24 units
28. Robert Turbin, Seahawks -- 23 units
29. Delone Carter, Colts -- 12 units
30. James Casey, Texans -- 14 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Peterson, Foster, Rice, Lynch, Morris, Harris, Green-Ellis
Sits: Ballard and all the backups
In two games against the Packers since Week 13, Peterson has 55 carries for 409 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. If the Vikings can pull off the upset and Peterson gets into the Divisional round of the playoffs then anyone who used him has a good chance of winning. ... Foster had double digits in Fantasy points in all but one game this year with 17 total touchdowns. Last year against the Bengals in the Wild Card round -- with T.J. Yates at quarterback -- he had 24 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 29 yards. ... Rice gets a Colts defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 14 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including one in each of the past three games. ... Lynch has five games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points and nine of his past 10, and the Redskins have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in six of their past seven outings. ... Morris has double digits in Fantasy points in each of his past six games and has at least 20 carries in each of his past seven outings. There were five running backs with at least 16 carries against the Seahawks this year and five reached double digits in Fantasy points. ... Harris is a sneaky sleeper since he has at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including 14 carries for 70 yards and two catches for 17 yards against the Vikings in Week 17. The Packers don't have a true running back, but he's worth the gamble based on his price. ... Green-Ellis is risky with his hamstring at less than 100 percent, but the Texans have allowed five touchdowns to running backs since Week 12 with five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Ballard has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games, but he has just two touchdowns over that span. The Ravens also get Ray Lewis (triceps) back, which should help their leaky run defense.

Wide Receivers

1. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos -- 48 units
2. Eric Decker, Broncos -- 46 units
3. Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
4. Greg Jennings, Packers -- 39 units
5. Roddy White, Falcons -- 46 units
6. Julio Jones, Falcons -- 45 units
7. Andre Johnson, Texans -- 45 units
8. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
9. James Jones, Packers -- 40 units
10. Randall Cobb, Packers -- 44 units
11. A.J. Green, Bengals -- 43 units
12. Jordy Nelson, Packers -- 41 units
13. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
14. Pierre Garcon, Redskins -- 35 units
15. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots -- 39 units
16. Reggie Wayne, Colts -- 39 units
17. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
18. Golden Tate, Seahawks -- 32 units
19. Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- 34 units
20. T.Y. Hilton, Colts -- 26 units
21. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks -- 24 units
22. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
23. Santana Moss, Redskins -- 18 units
24. Brandon Stokley, Broncos -- 24 units
25. Donnie Avery, Colts -- 22 units
26. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
27. Marvin Jones, Bengals -- 10 units
28. Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- 8 units
29. Kevin Walter, Texans -- 13 units
30. Jarius Wright, Vikings -- 11 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Cobb, Green, Nelson, Smith, Wayne
Sits: Garcon, Boldin, Tate, Rice, Hilton
I like all the Packers receivers this week, but Jennings just scored twice against Minnesota in Week 17. He was also targeted a team-high 12 times and now has seven touchdowns in his past five meetings with the Vikings. Cobb is expected to be fine for the playoffs despite missing Week 17 with ankle and knee injuries, and he finished the season with double digits in Fantasy points in seven of his final 11 games. Jones has six touchdowns in his final five games, including one in each game against the Vikings in Week 13 and 17. Nelson returned from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury against the Vikings in Week 17 and had three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. ... Johnson had at least 95 receiving yards in seven of his final nine games. He had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown last year against the Bengals in the playoffs. ... Green faces a Texans defense that has allowed nine receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points since Week 10. He was held to five catches for 47 yards at Houston in the playoffs last year and should be looking for some revenge. ... Smith has seven touchdowns at home this year, and No. 1 receivers have done serious damage against the Colts with 12 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Wayne is facing a Ravens defense that has allowed a receiver to score in five of their past six games, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past six games. ... Garcon has gone three games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and is facing the best secondary in the NFL with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, who is eligible to return from his four-game suspension this week. ... Boldin is dealing with a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss Week 17. He's risky because he had six games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2012 but also six games with four points or less. ... Hilton is better indoors than outdoors. On grass this year he has just one touchdown and is averaging 14.7 yards per catch compared to 17.5 yards indoors. ... Figuring out the Seattle receivers is like solving the fiscal cliff. There were only three times this year where Rice and Tate reached double digits in Fantasy points at the same time, and it happened just once on the road at Chicago in Week 13.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots -- 44 units
2. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots -- 37 units
3. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons -- 39 units
4. Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- 32 units
5. Jermichael Finley, Packers -- 22 units
6. Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
7. Joel Dreessen, Broncos -- 23 units
8. Jacob Tamme, Broncos -- 23 units
9. Owen Daniels, Texans -- 30 units
10. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals -- 82 units
11. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings -- 17 units
12. Vernon Davis, 49ers -- 15 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Pitta, Gresham, Finley, Rudolph
Sits: Daniels
Pitta has four games with double digits in Fantasy points at home this year and has scored three touchdowns in his past four home games. ... Gresham is facing a Texans defense that has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. ... Finley had two of his best games this season against the Vikings with six catches for 60 yards on seven targets in Week 13 and eight catches for 72 yards on nine targets in Week 17. ... Rudolph had a touchdown in Week 13 against Green Bay, and the key for Rudolph is targets. He has nine games this season with at least six targets, and he's scored in seven of those games. ... Daniels has more than four Fantasy points just once since Week 11, and the Bengals have not allowed a tight end to score since Week 9.

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots -- 32 units
2. Matt Prater, Broncos -- 31 units
3. Matt Bryant, Falcons -- 30 units
4. Mason Crosby, Packers -- 28 units
5. David Akers/Billy Cundiff, 49ers -- 30 units
6. Shayne Graham, Texans -- 30 units
7. Justin Tucker, Ravens -- 27 units
8. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks -- 26 units
9. Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
10. Josh Brown, Bengals -- 15 units
11. Blair Walsh, Vikings -- 27 units
12. Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- 26 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Crosby, Graham, Tucker, Vinatieri, Walsh
Sits: Forbath, Hauschka, Brown

Defense/Special Teams

1. Broncos -- 36 units
2. Seahawks -- 32 units
3. 49ers -- 37 units
4. Patriots -- 35 units
5. Packers -- 82 units
6. Falcons -- 30 units
7. Texans -- 35 units
8. Ravens -- 30 units
9. Bengals -- 32 units
10. Colts -- 21 units
11. Redskins -- 21 units
12. Vikings -- 24 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Seahawks, Ravens, Packers
Sits: Texans, Bengals, Colts, Redskins, Vikings

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Terrelle Pryor ready to embrace new role with Browns
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/30/2015) Terrelle Pryor once declared that he could not play football if he could not play quarterback.

Reality has since set in.

Pryor has been cut twice and is now playing on a Cleveland Browns team desperate for a quarterback, but apparently not desperate enough to give him a shot. He is instead embracing what he is calling a "slash-player" role.

"I'm going to give (it) a chance," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I just want to play football. I'm a playmaker, and I believe if I can touch the ball, I can go to the house, especially if I have space. This should definitely open up some opportunities."

Pryor has already taken the first step by contacting Steelers receiving stud Antonio Brown and making plans to work out with him and Randy Moss so they can teach him the nuances of the position.

He also figures there's another reason he's ahead of the game.

"The thing that helps me is that I played quarterback, and I know what the quarterback wants," Pryor said.


Lions new DT Haloti Ngata too busy to think about new contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/30/2015) Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata had his contract in mind in his last days with the Ravens, but he's too busy to think about it now that he's been traded to the Lions.

Ngata admitted that he suspected a deal could take place.

"The closer we got to free agency, I thought it could be a possibility," he told Monday Morning Quarterback. "It didn't surprise me ... since we weren't getting closer to any kind of contract stuff, I just figured there were a lot of things that could happen. I definitely started to have a trade in my mind as a possibility."

Ngata added that he's not thinking about a contract extension with Detroit.

"I'm just trying to get to know my teammates, get my playbook down, and my technique and terminology," he said.


Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon claims he'd pick himself in Fantasy
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/30/2015) Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon doesn't have a Fantasy football team, but if he did...

"If ... I could take myself, I would," he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Never mind that Adrian Peterson has returned to the backfield. Never mind that Peterson has traditionally not yielded many carries to teammates. In 2012, for instance, he totaled 348 of his team's 401 rushing attempts.

The Vikings, however, are expected to use a more balanced approach in 2015. And McKinnon, who flashed as a starter with Peterson sidelined last season, is feeling dandy after undergoing lower back surgery in December.

"Two hundred percent," he declared in regard to his health. "If there is a 300, I feel 300. It's all good."

McKinnon averaged 4.8 yards per carry a year ago, which buoyed his confidence.


Lions RB Joique Bell predicting at least a 1,200-yard season
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/30/2015) Lions featured back Joique Bell is coming off a knee injury that has sidelined him throughout the offseason and has also been dealing with an Achilles issue. But his confidence is not hurt at all.

Bell has made a rather lofty prediction for 2015, particularly for a guy that has never rushed for more than 860 yards in a season. He claims he will exceed that by plenty.

"I'm going to rush for over 1,200 yards," he told MLive.com. "That's the minimum. If I do less than that, I'll be surprised. I'll be disappointed. Anything more than that, I wouldn't be surprised at all."

Bell averaged a mediocre 3.9 yards per carry in both of the last two years.


Report: LB Kyle Knox gets four-game suspension from NFL
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/29/2015) Free agent linebacker Kyle Knox will get a four-game suspension from the league, NFL beat writer Howard Balzer reported. 

Knox as released by New Orleans in the offseason. Dallas signed him in June and released him three days later. 

Knox has played in 16 games for New Orleans and Jacksonville over the last two seasons.


Eagles sign John Moffitt, release Cole Manhart
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/29/2015) As expected, the Eagles signed center John Moffitt to a one-year contract on Monday, per Philly.com.

Moffitt was a third-round draft pick in 2011 and played two years for Seattle. He was traded to Denver and retired early in the 2013 season. 

He was arrested in 2014 on assault and drug charges, which were later dropped. 

To make room, the Eagles released undrafted rookie free agent Cole Manhart


Chiefs' Jeremy Maclin off to best start ever with Alex Smith
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/29/2015) New Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin has hit it off with quarterback Alex Smith during the offseason. 

Maclin came to Kansas City from Philadelphia in the offseason, and his communication with Smith has been more than either player expected. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever been off to a better start with a particular quarterback in my life,” Maclin said, per KCChiefs.com.

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, like head coach Andy Reid, brought the Philadelphia offense to Kansas City, which has helped Maclin's transition. 

“He’s only a couple years removed from our system,” Pederson said. “We’ve changed some things since he’s been in the offense, but he’s such a smart, savvy, veteran guy that he’s picked up on what we’re doing really fast. He and Alex have sort of developed that continuity right away.”


Redskins' David Amerson looks to win back starting job
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/29/2015) After a sub-par 2014 season, Redskins cornerback David Amerson is no longer expected to be a starter. Bashaud Breeland and free agent pickup Chris Culliver have knocked Amerson down to a nickelback role. 

Amerson lost the job after a season in which he indecisive and lacked aggression, he admitted to the Washington Post. Amerson didn't record an interception and had just seven pass breakups. 

“At the end of the day, that’s all it comes down to: just making plays. That’s the thing I felt like I was missing last year: being that big play-maker, game-changer,” Amerson said. “I basically had been that all my life, but it was different for me last year. It was unusual for me. So I need to get back into my groove and just find my swag. … Like I said, I’ve been that all my life, and always had that – I wouldn’t call it a gambling type of mentality – but knowing when to go and make that play, when to step up. It’s something I think a lot of people naturally have in them, and knowing when to bring it out. I just have to have that mindset.”


QB Russell Wilson reiterates desire to stay with Seahawks
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(6/29/2015) Quarterback Russell Wilson, whose contract status has developed into one of the offseason's major storylines, said that despite the issue with his deal, he still wants to remain with the Seahawks. 

"The rest will work out. The contract will work itself out. I'm excited about it and excited to hopefully be a Seattle Seahawk for a really, really long time," Wilson said during a football camp. "So, that's the goal."

Wilson is slated to play out the final year of his rookie contract in 2015, making $1.54 million, a figure wildly below market value for a player who has been to back-to-back Super Bowls. 


Seahawks DE Michael Bennett threatens to hold out
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/28/2015) Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has told a Honolulu television station that he might hold out of training camp due to his dissatisfaction with his contract situation.

Bennett attended the mandatory minicamp last week, which indicated he would be fine for training camp. But he told KHON2 that he might consider holding out in an attempt to get a new contract and remain in Hawaii.


 
 
 
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